How immigration reform will benefit farmers

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The White House released a new report Monday detailing the important benefits provided by the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill for the domestic agriculture sector, its workforce, and rural American communities. As the report states, in recent years, the agriculture sector has seen strong growth, with farm income and agriculture exports both reaching historic highs. But there’s more work to do, and currently the agriculture industry is hampered by a broken immigration system that fails to support a predictable and stable workforce. Among all economic sectors, the U.S. agriculture sector is particularly reliant on foreign-born workers. Agricultural producers cite difficulty in locating qualified available authorized workers—both foreign and domestic—as one reason for the high rate of undocumented labor. Moreover, there continues to be insufficient U.S. workers to fill labor needs: of those crop workers surveyed between 2007 and 2009, 71 percent were foreign born.

As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, “If we’re truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we’ve got to fix the system. We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. That’s common sense. And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.”

In June, the Senate passed historic legislation that is largely consistent with the President’s principles for commonsense immigration reform with a strong bipartisan vote. This bill would strengthen border security while providing an earned path to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers who are vital to our nation’s agriculture industry, and a new temporary worker program negotiated by major grower associations and farmworker groups. If enacted, the Senate bill would result in undocumented workers paying a fine, their full share of taxes and is estimated to allow an estimated 1.5 million agricultural workers and their dependents to earn legal status.

To learn more about how the Senate-passed bill and bipartisan commonsense immigration reform would benefit the agriculture sector and rural communities, check out this fact sheet or read the full report released by the White House.

Source: Matt Compton, Deputy Director of Online Content for the Office of Digital Strategy


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TX_Tumbleweed    
Texas  |  July, 29, 2013 at 09:21 PM

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is NOT "common sense". The idea that these illegals will not learn the government social services ropes and retire at 40, like the Regan Amnesty entitlement class did, is ludicrous. Nor did their classless children ever join the American workforce in any substantial numbers. Why would they when the U.S. middle class will support them via taxation? Dreaming of a return to the former near-slave labor done by wet-backs of the 1950s, 60s et.c is naive squared. Those "blissful" days of simple-minded, loyal, hard-working illegals are gone forever. Just as the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the Old South. Ranchers and farmers must innovate their way out of the need for the hand labor these illegals once performed. Bringing in more is suicidal for capitalism in the USA. Would you rather have cheap labor, or a FREE country?

tombarnes    
July, 30, 2013 at 04:47 AM

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Didn't we solve this immigration problem waaaay back in 1986 with the Immigration Reform Act of 1986? We granted amnesty to 2.7 illegals and now we are talking about 11 million more. Let's see, doing the math, means in 27 years, in 2040, we will be discussing the amnesty(and 'reform') of 33 million more. And during that time, the Gini Coefficient, a measure of income disparity, has increased from .35 to .45.

Charles K Johnson    
33912  |  July, 30, 2013 at 05:54 AM

There are a lot of people willing to work hard. The Hispanics do not have a patent on hard work. The illegal amnesty program will help employers wanting someone to work 60 hours for 40 hours pay. They will still get food stamps.They will continue to use hospital emergency rooms.As their family doctors. Costing the legal tax payers trillions of dollars.

TX_Tumbleweed    
Texas  |  December, 07, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is NOT "common sense". The idea that these illegals will not learn the government social services ropes and retire at 40, like the Regan Amnesty entitlement class did, is ludicrous. Nor did their classless children ever join the American workforce in any substantial numbers. Why would they when the U.S. middle class will support them via taxation? Dreaming of a return to the former near-slave labor done by wet-backs of the 1950s, 60s et.c is naive squared. Those "blissful" days of simple-minded, loyal, hard-working illegals are gone forever. Just as the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the Old South. Ranchers and farmers must innovate their way out of the need for the hand labor these illegals once performed. Bringing in more is suicidal for capitalism in the USA. Would you rather have cheap labor, or a FREE country?


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